What’s driving the rise in suicide among middle-aged men?

Some months ago we published a link to an interesting report by the Samaritans on the high suicide rate among disadvantaged British men in mid-life:

http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/why-disadvantaged-men-in-mid-life-die-by-suicide/

A contributor to ‘A Voice for Men’ wrote a remarkable critique of that report:

http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/a-mesage-for-poor-white-heterosexual-men/

Let’s consider a few facts:

1. Four out of seven unemployed people in the UK are men.

2. Men are far more likely than women to commit suicide after losing their jobs.

3. British men are three times more likely than British women to commit suicide.

4. As we reported recently, the recession has adversely affected male employment far more than female employment.

Adding all these facts together, how in God’s name could the government possibly justify its relentless focus on driving up the number of women in paid employment, but not the number of men? It couldn’t, of course. Its policies are leading to increasing male unemployment and therefore male suicide. In short:

Government policies in this area are killing men.

There are, of course, many areas in which the state, through its actions and inactions, kills men. Another – appropriately on this, Father’s Day – is the state’s continuing refusal to ensure men enjoy reasonable access to their children following relationship breakdowns. We shouldn’t be surprised that almost ten times as many men as women commit suicide after long-term relationship breakdowns. How much of this reality can be attributed to vindictive ex-partners denying fathers access to their children? I should be amazed if it were not a significant proportion.

The public sector has long been women’s preferred sector in which to work, and almost two-thirds of public sector workers are women. Yet the Equality Act (2010) allows public sector bodies to use ‘positive action’ – positive discrimination (which remains illegal) in all but name – to favour women over men in recruitment and promotion terms, thereby driving up the female employment rate and the male unemployment rate. The lunatics truly have taken over the asylum.

A recent article in The Atlantic about the suicide rate among middle-aged American men has been brought to my attention. It’s well worth reading:

http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/05/whats-driving-the-rise-in-suicide-among-middle-aged-men/275792/

Tomorrow I’ll be meeting with a man in Bedford who leads a new group committed to supporting men suffering from depression. Young men, and disadvantaged men in mid-life, are the two groups with the highest suicide rate in the UK.

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About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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